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New director appointed at the Fitzwilliam Museum

  • Date: 7 December 2012
  • Area: South East

Tim Knox will take up the role of new director at the Fitzwilliam Museum in April 2013. Credit: Caroline Djanogly

The University of Cambridge has chosen a new Director at the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Tim Knox, who is the current Director of the Sir John Soane's Museum in London, a position he has occupied since 2005, will take up the role in April. The Fitzwilliam Museum has been without a Director since Timothy Potts departed in September to take up his new role in Los Angeles as the head of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Some of Knox's highlights whilst working at the Soane Museum include the restoration of the two houses, Nos. 12 and 14 Lincoln's Inn Fields, which flank Soane's original Museum at No. 13. The ambitious OUTS (Opening up the Soane) project, which has raised over £7 million, is now fully planned and financed, and ready to move into its second phase - the first having provided a new exhibition gallery, new conservation studios and a new museum shop.

He was appointed Assistant Curator at the Royal Institute of British Architects Drawings Collection in 1989. In 1995 he moved to the National Trust as its Architectural Historian, becoming Head Curator in 2002. He was much involved with the restoration of the gardens at Stowe in Buckinghamshire, and championed the acquisition of the Workhouse in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, Tyntesfield in Somerset, and the restoration of the Darnley Mausoleum in Cobham Park, Kent.

Professor Martin Daunton, Chair of the Fitzwilliam Museum Syndicate, said: "The Fitzwilliam Museum is looking ahead to its bicentenary in 2016, and I am confident that Tim Knox will take us forward into our third century with respect for the past and enthusiasm for the future.  The Fitzwilliam Museum is one of the world's greatest university museums that works with the other major collections in Cambridge and with the academic departments to make a significant contribution to the wider region.  We look forward to working with Tim Knox."

Helen Lax: "Tim Knox will be a real asset to the Fitzwilliam bringing expertise in collections and architectural history and experience of transforming the Sir John Soane's Museum. His vision and leadership will be a great contribution to the University of Cambridge Museums which has ambitious plans to connect the collections of the eight unique museums. The Fitzwilliam has enjoyed such a fantastic year drawing huge numbers to the museum through the London 2012 Festival exhibition, The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China.  As a regional and national leader, Tim is set to develop innovative approaches relating the excellent collections to new and diverse audiences."

Tim Knox said: "I am pleased and proud to be appointed the next Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. It is a huge honour to be asked to look after this great institution, and I look forward to working with its staff to build on the success and prestige of this unique treasury. The Fitzwilliam Museum, and the other collections of the University of Cambridge, play an important role in the cultural enrichment of the University, the City of Cambridge and its surrounding area, and indeed of the nation as a whole."

The Fitzwilliam Museum is one of eight museums that come under the umbrella of University of Cambridge Museums, a Major partner museum, with funding via the Arts Council's Renaissance programme. University of Cambridge Museums will receive £4,446,145 between 2012-2015 as part of the programme alongside 15 other Major partner museums across the country.

It is free to visit the Fitzwilliam Museum as it is for all the University of Cambridge Museums. Its upcoming exhibition, The China's White Gold - Contemporary porcelain from Jingdezhen, will showcase over 60 works by contemporary ceramicists from Jingdezhen, to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. This follows the hugely successful The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han Chin, which was part of the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad in the East.

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